- Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:52 pm
I've been flying Combats since 2005, an L 14.2 and then a 13.5 GT from 2012, and a 13.5 C since 2016.
In between the L and the first 13.5 I've had one year flying on a 154 T2C, that I liked a lot but never loved as an Aeros wing.
Some quick peeps on Litespeeds S and Rx and 144 T2Cs, and one nice flight on an Icaro Laminar 14.8, all from friends.
You see, to me, Icaro matched the glide performance of the Combats, all other wings still seemed to lack at speeeds over 90kmh. The Moyes and Icaro handling was very similar to the Combat's, maybe due to the A-frame design and position. WW has a narrow speedbar,so at the beginning I was often hitting one upright with my shoulder until I got used to the forward speedbar position, when thermallin very tight. Different machine,different muscle memory.
The thing that changed the game, to me, was the tail. Since then, I've never had those nasty,scary, nose-down dives that sometimes occur(red) on tailless wings, former Combat included, anymore. I am a guy who flies about one hundred hours a year,mainly on mountains conditions, some national comps and fewer international comps. The pitch damper works really fine, and got better with the newer profiles that were adapted for the tail. The faster you fly, the better the wing gets stable. The handling was more sharp, more direct, on my Combat without the tail, but I prefer to trade some roll ratio for more comfort.
Don't get me wrong, it's not that the wing becomes inert,with the tail... It's different. It has a more rounded behaviour, and after a while you get used to that and you learn how to do. It's still possible to turn very tight and climb on a tip, but the tail seems to act in order to get the whole system working at the right speed/ right angle of attack and a flater turn.
So in the end it's less tiring to fly.
The C, particularly, is a true pleasure. It's 4 kg lither than the aluminum one, so it's more responsive and has less inertia, climbs better and it's more refined, you see the've put more attention to the details. Aeros wing were somehow lacking some refiniments, now they are at the same top quality level of other brands.
I've always had the slider CG on my 13.5s, another great feature that allows you to fly and land really slow, or glide fast into the wind when you need it. It puts some more weight on the overall count,but it's definitely worth it.
If you can afford it, go for the carbon. It's lighter, but obviously you have to take good care of it.
The alu GT,anyway, it's still a top performer, and the world champion wing of Petr Benes flies great even without tail. Some sizes have double homologation, with and without tail. If you like best a simple wing, you can save some weight and money and go for the tailless.
GT: Pros: great overall performance, very simple to adjust, easy to fly and land. Good price. Cons: Heavier, and 80cm longer when packed,compared to the curved tips wings...
C: lighter handling, less weight, more roll authority at full vg on, simple to fly and land. Short pakable at 2m or something for shipping or long travels. Better refinements. State of the art carbon frame. Cons: higher price tag, full carbon frame to take care of.
One more thing, higher A/R wing fly best at the top of their weight range,so if you're in doubt,go for the size that's more loaded. Otherwise you'll find the wing is a bit of flying you, instead of you flying the wing, when it's a rough, strong
My 2 cents.